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Respiration of turions and winter apices in aquatic carnivorous plants

Adamec, Lubomír
Biologia 2008 v.63 no.4 pp. 515-520
Utricularia, aquatic plants, carnivores, carnivorous plants, leaves, overwintering, oxygen, respiratory rate, shoots, spring, sprouting
Basic respiration characteristics were measured in turions of six aquatic plant species differing greatly in their ecological and overwintering characteristics both before and after overwintering, i.e., in dormant and non-dormant state: non-carnivorous Hydrocharis morsus-ranae and Caldesia parnassifolia and carnivorous Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Utricularia australis, U. ochroleuca, and U. bremii, and in non-dormant winter apices of three Australian (sub)tropical populations of Aldrovanda and of two temperate North American Utricularia species, U. purpurea and U. radiata. Respiration rate of autumnal (dormant) turions at 20°C ranged from 0.36 to 1.3 µmol O2 kg−1 (FM) s−1 and, except for U. bremii, increased by 11–114% after overwintering. However, this increase was statistically significant only in two species. Respiration Q10 in dormant turions ranged within 1.8–2.6 and within 2.3–3.4 in spring (non-dormant) turions. Turions of aquatic plants behave as typical storage, overwintering organs with low respiration rates. No relationship was found between respiration rate of turions and overwintering strategy. In spite of their low respiration rates, turions can usually survive only from one season to another, due to their limited reserves of respiratory substrates for long periods. Contrary to true turions, respiration rates in non-dormant winter apices both in Australian Aldrovanda populations and temperate U. radiata and U. purpurea, in sprouting turions, and growing shoot apices of Aldrovanda were high and ranged from 2.1 to 3.1 µmol kg−1 (FM) s−1, which is comparable to that in aquatic plant leaves or shoots.